Paperbark Hill by Australian author Maya Linnell is the fourth and final book in the McIntyre Sisters series.
Diana McIntyre, a single mum of four boys; Cameron, Elliott, Harry, and Leo are adjusting to life after the death of her husband Pete. It had been eighteen months and as a parent, her main concern was her boys while managing her own grief. Being surrounded by her sisters and father with their love and care she did not underestimate just how much support they were giving in such difficult circumstances.
Owning a flower farm has always been Diana’s dream, with encouragement from her family and guidance from an elderly dahlia expert Colin she feels as though nothing is impossible and strives at flourishing in the industry.
Ned Gardiner, a locum pharmacist likes to roam from place to place with his children Willow and Doug living a nomadic life. When he hears of his father’s tragedy he returns home to Colin’s farm in Victoria to sort out the estate. He had not been home in some time and was not sure what to expect. Upon his arrival, he meets Diana and learns that his father had been giving her guidance with her flower farm.
Diana asks Ned to help her in the fields and with a big event, she is impressed with his knowledge of plants and his kind nature. With time spent together, a friendship grows not only between the two but also between their children. Ned never stayed in one place for long, but he saw his young children flourish in the small and prosperous community. When his feelings towards Diana became deeper he saw himself staying.
Finding a new love in your forties sometimes seems impossible, especially with children and carrying past trauma, I thoroughly enjoyed the slow burn basing their relationship on trust and consideration regarding their circumstances. The connection felt genuine and not overdone.
I loved the blended family storyline as they all learnt to adapt to each other’s idiosyncrasies and hardships. Diana’s eldest, Cameron is hesitant to embrace Ned for fear of her forgetting their father. It showed the vulnerable side of the children’s insecurities of anger, sadness, worry, and threats of stability. Both Diana and Ned played a very important support role, working together on applying family cohesion and boundaries and having a strong foundation for everyone’s happiness.
Maya Linnell makes you feel like you are there as the story unfolds, you can easily picture yourself in the daily lives of the characters. I could not think of anything more splendid than working on a flower farm, the scenery comes alive with descriptive writing as you Immerse yourself in a rural experience
This isn’t a fast-paced story, but it is filled with emotion and drama. Paperbark Hill is a quiet journey from heartache and despair to love and happiness and I’m thrilled to have travelled that journey with a wonderful cast of characters.
Bottlebrush Creek, Wildflower Ridge, Magpie’s Bend, and Paperbark Hill can all be read independently but I find it nice to read every book as characters intertwine with storylines.
I thank Maya for such a wonderful series, she has such an exceptional skill at writing about the intricacies of relationships, whether they be romantic, familial, or friendship. Her novels focus on the inner workings of women and how everything in their lives leads them to exactly where they are, whether they like it or not.
Each novel was beautifully written, and I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey each McIntyre Sister has taken. I cannot wait for future novels.
Thank you, Beauty and Lace and Allen & Unwin for the opportunity to read and review.
A selection of our members are reading Paperbark Hill by Maya Linnell. You can read their reviews below, or add you own comments.
My love of books started at a very young age. My mum has always been a reader and encouraged me to read, buying me endless book from classic fairy tales advancing to the world of Enid Blyton, CS Lewis, Louisa May Alcott, Kathryn Kenny, Carolyn Keene, Francine Pascal. In my adult years the list of authors is endless and every room in my house is filled with books.
One of my favourite novels is Narnia which has always has a special place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1978 and when I was given this book to read it let me escape to another world where I felt like I was in the book with all the characters, it wasfun and exciting to escape from reality and eased the ups and downs of the disease at such a young age.
In books nothing is impossible and there is endless potential and hundreds of places to explore or being taken to places that are only made up from the authors’ great minds, the past and future to navigate, characters lives you step into taking you on an emotional rollercoaster ride or being scared out of your wits. I can experience things that I can’t in real life because they’re not possible or real. It challenges my perspective and mindset expanding my worldview.
I find joy, comfort and peace with books, many people may not get it, but I know bookworms like me truly understand. Reading makes my heart happy.